West Pokot government targets improvement of livestock breeds

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The West Pokot County administration has embarked on a programme targeting improvement of animal breeds
The West Pokot County administration has embarked on a programme targeting improvement of animal breeds

West Pokot County government has set out measures to improve breeds and reduce cases of cattle rustling in the region. The County administration has distributed 600 sahiwal bulls and over 2,000 gala goats for cross breeding to help increase meat and milk production.

Speaking at Kasei village when he officially launched the programme, West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said that the initiative is aimed at increasing production in the County that is famously known for milk and meat production. “We have distributed 30 sahiwal bulls and 100 gala goats per ward to help improve our breeds,” he said.

Lonyangapuo said the programme intends to eradicate cases of cattle rustling in the region since improved breed cannot walk for long distances.

Distribution of Sahiwal cattle in Kasei
Distribution of Sahiwal cattle in Kasei

He said in the next ten years all breeds will have changed and residents will be reaping huge profits from the animals. “We shall be distributing the bulls and goats each year until we full eradicate zebu breeds from this County,” he said.

The West Pokot Governor said the community had helped them in identifying serious farmers who will take good care of their animals throughout the year.

He said farmers who’ve received the animals will own them after five years. “We’ve identified farmers who can take good care of their animals even during the dry spell. We don’t want to lose the cattle since we have invested heavily,” he said.

Lonyangapuo said farmers in the West Pokot haven’t been reaping huge profits from the animals despite heavy investment in the sector. The farmers, he said have been exploited by middlemen who buy their products at a throw away price.

He said his government wants to ensure the County has enough animals for meat production before Nasukuta meat processing plant is operational. “Currently, a goat is being sold at between Kshs 5,000 to Kshs 8,000, but when we improve our breeds and with the availability of ready market, we shall sell them at between Kshs 10,000 to Kshs 20,000,” he said.

Daniel Tulin, a farmer, said that the programme will help boost the prices of livestock and profits will be plenty in the venture.